Mizune Freighter Tracks

MJG Bridges / Roads, Haikyo, Tokyo-to 6 Comments

60 years ago the Mizune freighter line built one of the biggest dams in Japan. The line was specially constructed in the 1940s, with some 20 tunnels and bridges snaking through the west Tokyo mountains, to ferry supplies from the sleepy hiker’s village of Okutama to the construction site for the Ogochi dam on Okutama lake. It must have cost millions to blast those tunnels and build all those bridges. Still, the line was abandoned after completion, and now remains high above the still-operational road to the dam, like a hidden super-highway for local fauna. A concrete bridge along the Mizune freight line. Ogochi dam was a Tokyo dream since the 1920s, though it wasn’t completed until 1957, due to …

The ancient glare of Angkor Thom

MJG Haikyo, World Ruins Leave a Comment

Angkor Thom is a behemothic ruin, 9 square kilometers of temples, lakes, terraces, and dusty faded glory all bound in by a ten-foot wall. Much of it now is paved with roads built by the South Koreans, the Chinese, the Indians. Our guide happily explained the times and dates each country came along and chipped in their bit to keep this grand testament to ancient Khmer wealth in a visitable condition. And visitable it most certainly is, from the hydra-headed temple of Bayon to the seemingly endless codices of ‘forgotten temples’ across from the palace’s elephant terrace. The heads of Jayavarman VII, who built a temple with some 88 copies of his on head, looking in all directions with ‘peace …